petition touched upon matters of public concern.") The district
court explained that plaintiff "complained to the Mayor only of
his private dispute with the City, and was not engaged in an
effort at whistle-blowing or otherwise going public with matters
of public concern." Id. at *2.
Although plaintiff complains here that the City issued the
ticket parking ticket in retaliation for his lawsuit against the
City, and not for any letter writing campaign, "[r]etaliation
for filing a lawsuit is prohibited by the First Amendment's
protection of free speech, not some concept of an independent
right of access to courts." Zorzi v. County of Putnam,
30 F.3d 885, 896 (7th Cir. 1994). Unlike plaintiffs letter to the Mayor,
however, plaintiffs present lawsuit complains about allegedly
unconstitutional behavior and, therefore, does touch on matters
of public concern. See Glatt v. Chicago Park Dist.,
87 F.3d 190, 193 (7th Cir. 1996) ("Glatt's suit, however, since it
complains of allegedly unconstitutional behavior by public
officials, could well be regarded as a form of such petition,
and so a claim of retaliation would be actionable in a suit
under the Constitution."). Count II, therefore, states a claim
upon which relief may be granted.
Count III: Fair Housing Act Civil Rights law
In Count III, plaintiff alleges violations of the Fair Housing
Act and Civil Rights law because the City refuses to allow
African Americans to reside in Bridgeport and refuses to allow
African American police officers to patrol Bridgeport. (Am.
Compl. at 4.) The "`sole requirement for standing to sue under
[the Fair Housing Act] is the Art. III minima of injury in fact:
that the plaintiff allege that as a result of defendant's
actions he has suffered a "distinct and palpable injury," Warth
v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 501, 95 S.Ct. 2197, 45 L.Ed.2d 343
(1975).'" Kyles v. J.K. Guardian Security Servs., Inc.,
222 F.3d 289, 296 (7th Cir. 2000) (quoting Gladstone, Realtors v.
Village of Bellwood, 441 U.S. 91, 99 S.Ct. 1601, 60 L.Ed.2d 66
(1979)) (alteration in the original). This court cannot infer
from plaintiffs complaint, even under the most liberal pleading
standards, that plaintiff suffered a distinct and palpable
injury, as plaintiff never alleges that he ever attempted to
live in the Bridgeport area or what effect the race of
patrolling officers in an area where plaintiff does not live has
on plaintiff. As such, plaintiff lacks standing to sue under the
Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq. Moreover, since
plaintiff cannot meet the Article III minima for standing, he is
precluded from suing under any other civil rights law. Count
III, therefore, warrants dismissal.
Count IV: Due Process
In Count IV, plaintiff claims he was denied a fair and
sufficient hearing and the opportunity to question an arresting
officer in connection with his March or April 1996 arrest for
solicitation of a prostitute. (Am. Compl. at 5.) Plaintiff also
maintains that his car was improperly taken away from him as a
result of this arrest. (Id.) Plaintiff apparently brings his
claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which borrows the forum state's
statute of limitations for personal injuries. See Eison v.
McCoy, 146 F.3d 468, 470 (7th Cir. 1998). Under Illinois law,
personal injury litigants are subject to a two year statute of
limitations. See 735 ILCS 5/13-202. As such, plaintiffs count
IV claims are time-barred.
For the above-stated reasons, the defendant's motion to
dismiss [# 38] is granted in part and denied in part. The court
dismisses counts III and IV of plaintiff's complaint. The City
must answer the remaining counts by April 30, 2000.